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2012 Market Predictions

The numbers are in for January, and we have prepared the following report for you.

Residential Sales in Garland County, AR 

(information obtained from the Hot Springs Board of Realtors mls)

Average Days on Market

1/1/11 – 1/31/11:  174

1/1/12 – 1/31/12:  172            


Number of Listings Sold

1/1/11 – 1/31/11:  63

1/1/12 – 1/31/12:  68           


Average Price of Sold Listings

1/1/11 – 1/31/11:  $160,223

1/1/12 – 1/31/12:  $122,824           


Percentage of listings that Sold

1/1/11 – 1/31/11:  27%

1/1/12 – 1/31/12:  28%


MLS Sold Volume

1/1/11 – 1/31/11:  $10,094,089

1/1/12 – 1/31/12:  $ 8,352,040           

(Click here for a more detailed report of the current market in Garland County, AR)

While the numbers reflect a little slower start as compared to last year for the Hot Springs area, we are seeing many positive signs indicative of a growing economy in Hot Springs.  The infrastructure of Hot Springs is still on the move with the expansion of the highways, i.e. the Highway 70 West expansion and the south leg of Higdon Ferry expansion are both now complete and are attracting new commercial and residential building sites.  Other local projects are on the rise and stirring a lot of interest and growth with the north leg of Higdon Ferry, the south end of Highway 7, and the north leg of Highway 270 all under construction, and Highway 70 East just met state planning approval for expansion as reported by the Arkansas Democrat earlier this week.  These are all great signs of growth in our area.

We think this year might be the one in which the housing market starts to strengthen, according to the 2012 predictions of several housing industry observers and experts across the U.S. 

Jed Kolko, chief economist at Trulia.com, a real estate search and research website, says he sees rising rents, a humble recovery in housing prices and even some unexpected "hot" spots where he thinks price increases will exceed the average this year.

Kolko said his predictions are based on 14 months of U.S. job gains and the assumption that "there's no big crisis in 2012."

He also sees shrinking mortgage delinquencies in 2012, though foreclosures will rise as old delinquencies exit the paperwork pipeline.

Increasing demand for rental properties should mean higher rents, he added, but should also spark new construction to keep up with demand.

Mortgage rates should rise a bit, too, said Kolko; calling that a sign of economic strengthening. "Higher rates for a reason we can cheer," he said.

Rich Arzaga, founder and CEO of Cornerstone Wealth Management in San Ramon, California and an adjunct professor in personal finance at the University of California at Berkeley also agrees with Kolko about the rentals. "This was going to happen even without foreclosures. If you look at the statistics on homeownership, it shows that people are buying homes later in life, and that the echo boomers will drive rentals for a longer period of time."

Jeffrey Rogers, president of Integra Realty Resources, a New York-based real estate valuation and consulting firm, also agreed with Kolko's assessment of the rental market: Multifamily units - that is, building with five or more units - "are one of the property types that still received funding for new projects throughout the downturn." (See full article here)

Putting the market recovery in terms of graph curves  … It doesn’t seem to be a U-shaped recovery and it’s definitely not V-shaped.  We believe it’s more of a 'Nike swoosh recovery,' where it goes down fast and then goes up very gradually.

What are your predictions for 2012?



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